Despite efforts to curb the misuse of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in the country, it has emerged that most gas consumers in the Western Region do not adhere to safety precautions.
Some malpractices include placing stones on cylinders, seating gas cylinders next to coal pots, failing to fix leakages of tubes, fixing the regulator wrongly, damaging the O-Rings in the cylinder valve and using rusty cylinders among others. These were observed at tea stalls, roadside eateries, chop bars, restaurants and hotels.
A team from the Corporate Affairs Division of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) that is currently in the region engaging gas consumers announced this when it took the second phase of the nationwide LPG DOOR-TO-DOOR campaign to the Sekondi/Takoradi municipality.
Speaking during the exercise, Benjamin Sekyere Owusu, Communications Officer of the NPA, said LPG was an excellent fuel for cooking and it was safe if used correctly.
He, however, said: “If stored or used incorrectly, LPG can be extremely dangerous. When safety is compromised, accident is born which can cause serious injury or even death”, adding: “A single mistake in the kitchen can be fatal, so, be careful! You can be roasted alive”.
Mr Owusu said most fire accidents happened because of negligence. “People fail to notice leaks, do not change the hose periodically, do not turn off the valve etc. Yes, sometimes faulty cylinders are delivered, which is why we need to be alert and be caretakers of our own safety.”
He admonished consumers to preferably locate their gas cylinders outdoors, adding that “the idea to have the gas cylinder outside the kitchen and connected by long hose to the stove or burner is a very good one.”
The team had already visited several eateries in Takoradi, Sekondi, Effiekuma, Tarkwa and Apemanim areas, where vendors were educated on the appropriate use of LPG cylinders at their business centres and homes.
The sensitisation exercise is part of a policy programme by the NPA to ensure LPG-related accidents including explosions and fire outbreaks, are not repeated.